When Nature Calls

By Haley Tamberi

When nature calls…it calls! Whether on a big wall, or a river right before the hardest rapid, it turns into a dire uncomfortable situation fast. I had been suffering from unpredictable gut issues for six years. It was hard to manage. I spent my twenties avoiding doctors' offices, though when I turned thirty I visited them frequently. I got diagnosed with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) several times, which is BS! I continued to self-diagnose at home with the help of Dr.Google. I was clutching to my probiotics as if this was the antidote. I was being green washed by supplement companies sold at the local health food store. Nothing was helping.

“I used to have more energy.” “I can’t recover anymore!” “Why am I losing muscle tone?” “Is this what happens when you get old?” “Do I have arthritis?” These questions consumed my thoughts. I became hesitant to say “yes” to any outdoor adventure, especially those multi day adventures where you are forced to be intimate with your partners in small spaces. I adopted the nickname “HayBail” from friends because I often bailed last minute due to lack of energy. A chronic bailer, this is not how any athlete wants to be known.

I let this dynamic go on for 6 years. SIX YEARS! Until one day I reached a breaking point. I lay on my couch, depleted.  I couldn’t fathom getting up, let alone going climbing. My blood results had come back a couple weeks prior showing deficiency in all vitamins & minerals, even with supplements I was taking. Malnourishment. Since my doctor was not interested in giving me real solutions, I phoned a friend. She talked to me about soil health, gut health, and planetary health “the modern-day crisis”. She encouraged me to start taking superfoods from a company that grows all of its products in regenerative soil.

I was hesitant to believe that anything would restore my energy back to what it was before I had to start carrying extra wag bags in all my backpacks in case of an emergency. I had a burning desire for adventure but no energy to actually make it happen, and no solutions to any of my problems. I already ate lots of organic vegetables and high quality meats. Could these superfoods grown in regenerative soil really be the answer? Was my six-year battle a result of the dwindling health of our environment and our nation's relationship with food production?

I gave it a go. I dove into this superfood company and tweaked my diet alongside the protocol after I started getting more tuned into my body's needs. It was a very organic evolution. From the moment these products hit my stomach I knew something good was happening. I am now six months into a deep dive regenerative health detox. Before this, I thought detox meant drinking gross drinks, starving yourself, and having no energy. Now I know this is far from the truth. I am currently back to my previous athleticism. I know I am still regenerating on a cellular level and transforming the systems of my body, so it can only go up from here. I am floored. Not only is the protocol easy to follow, good for the environment and sustainable, it is convenient. From here on out, these superfood powders and supplements will hitch a ride on every backcountry excursion, long or short.

Regenerative agriculture is the “leave no trace” of farming practices. Instead of weakening the system and depleting the soil by pesticide use and monocropping, it aims to restore and rehabilitate the entire ecosystem. It does this through crop rotation, conservation tillage, composting, and cover crops to benefit soil health. Plants are a carbon sink and since no plot of land goes barren it helps sequester carbon dioxide from our atmosphere. One of the major goals is to increase the microbiome of the soil and therefore make it a more diverse ecosystem. Food grown on regenerative soil holds more nutritional content and is better for the planet and for our health.

Regenerative health is a beautiful dance between our genetic disposition and environmental factors. You can literally build a new body tomorrow if you change the environmental input to your genome on a cellular level. This is great news for chronic illness.

I did not know that saying “yes” to healing my body through these superfoods would mean furthering my education and joining a movement. A movement I can stand behind because it benefits our planet and generations to come. At the end of April, I graduate with a Regenerative Health Certification.  I’ve approached regenerative health with the same vigor I’ve taken to climbing and am already thinking of more ways to study and grow. Check out the movie Kiss the Ground on Netflix if you want to learn more about regenerative agriculture.


Haley is a massage therapist in Durango, Colorado. It is the longest she has ever lived in one place in her adult life. Before that, you could find her seasonally between Gunnison and Moab, waiting tables and living the dirtbag dream. If she is not at the office or at home studying, she is usually somewhere outdoors. She is already dreaming up new adventures, a few of them are in the works. There has to be a really good reason for her to bail now. If you are inspired by this article and want more resources, she would love to hear from you at htamberi01@gmail.com.

Photo credit (L to R): Cat Coe, Linda Williamson, Linda Williamson

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